Epic drama about China's first emperor (221 BC) who struggles to make his childhood best friend, now China's greatest composer, succumb to his will and compose a grand anthem to his exploits.


Zhou Xiaowen


Ge You
as Gao Jianli
Jiang Wen
as Ying Zheng
Xu Qing
as Princess Yueyang
Ge Zhijun
as Zhao Gao
Di Guoqiang
as Wang Jian
Wang Ning
as Wang Ben

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by red-74 10 /10

Tremendous, complex, historical epic

Don't be misled by ANY of the US critics who reviewed this remarkable movie. The Emperor's Shadow's (Qin Song) opening sequence-anything but subtle with hundreds of enormous bells being sacrificed to a thundering cataract of water and river foam--and the dying Emperor's last pronouncement are a perfect preamble for what follows.

And pay no attention to the cursory plot summaries--far more is involved here than a simple stubborn musician who seduces the Emperor's favorite daughter and refuses to compose a national anthem. Word play, puns and verbal sparring are very important in the film (e.g. the instrument the musician plays is a qin; the Emperor is head of the Qin dynasty); and the love/hate; cat and mouse; art vs politics; peace vs war; pacifism vs force themes embodied in the relationship between the Emperor and the musician is one of the most fascinating interpersonal conundrums since Henry II and Thomas Becket.

The fact that this extraordinary film did not make the rounds of all US art houses is a tragedy. The scope, the grandure, the uniformly excellent performances, the stunning cinematography add up to a unique and unusually compelling experience.

The Emperor's Shadow may also be one of your very last chances to witness a true epic--there are no computer generated masses here--each one of those thousands and thousands of soldiers is a real human being.

The Emperor's Shadow is a misunderstood, over-looked, underestimated masterpiece.

Reviewed by allenrubin 10 /10

Utterly The BEST Chinese Film I Ever Saw!!!!

I cannot say enough about this film. The production value was TOPS. The locations, story, acting, music, and everything else involved in it was extraordinary. I watched it 10 times (Each time forcing others to watch, which they all agreed with me). It should have won an Oscar, but since there are probably big politics with Mainland China vs Hong Kong, it never got a mention. I am not Chinese, but do appreciate a fine film. WATCH IT!!! TRUST ME. You will agree. The music writer scored many other Top Chinese films like Farewell My Concubine, Ju Duo, and Raise The Red Lantern, just to name a few! WoW! The acting was superb. Natural and realistic. I cried each and every time I watched it. What can I say? I definitely think it was one of the best made films I've seen in many years. I am an actor and have produced a few action films (nothing that compares to this, or even gets close...PLEASE! I wish!). This has every emotion and is to be considered an EPIC of Extraordinary Proportions!

Reviewed by Hunky Stud 10 /10

A master piece.

This is an excellent, excellent movie. It seamless linked all those major stories that happened during the lifetime of first Chinese emperor. Jiang, Wen is a well-known actor. Sometimes it is hard to actually see a famous actor as the actual character. However Mr. Jiang has done a great job. Even though his face is so familiar to many of us, but in this particular movie, he is indeed the first Emperor of China.

Best of all, it is not boring to watch this movie at all. Sometimes it is hard to follow through a lengthy old historic movie, which one can not reflect upon oneself. However, this film grabs audiences' attention, and one wants to watch it till the end.

Ge You the other main character is also so excellent. It is definitely an epic. It has love, hate, massacre, etc. It may not have the fancy elegance as Titanic, but it is absolutely more meaningful.

Read more IMDb reviews